Monday July 12, 2010

Passing on the Pro-Life Hope: One Video at a Time

By Peter J. Smith

MADISON, Wisconsin, July 12, 2010 ( – One Wisconsin pro-life organization has adopted a unique and simple strategy to inspire people to celebrate a culture of life.

Wisconsin Right to Life’s new pro-life evangelism is the “Pass this on for me” campaign: a section of their website, where they find uplifting videos posted on YouTube celebrating life and family, allowing others to pass on their powerful and positive messages.

Perhaps the most powerful video WRTL has posted on their website is the story of “Bryce Daniel,” whose mother describes in the video how she and her husband struggled to have children, facing the heartbreak of two miscarried babies before conceiving a third time.

However, in the 35th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed that their long-awaited baby had hydrocephaly: a condition in which fluid builds up in the brain, and which often leads to death shortly after birth. Specialists recommended abortion, and implied that her future fertility was on the line if she did not: “We could decompress your baby’s head and take him out, so you can have kids again,” said one specialist.

Despite the pain of knowing what might happen, she said, “I was not going to end the life of my baby.”

Bryce Daniel was born at just over 9 pounds, and video shows both parents beaming at him proudly. But for thirteen minutes, his mother recounted, Bryce neither moved nor breathed, with a heartbeat fading away.

“I remember saying, ‘Lord, please give me more time with my baby,'” she said – a prayer that, according to the video, was soon answered well above and beyond the parents’ hopes.

“I’ve been involved for a long time, and that one got me. It was just absolutely fabulous,” said Barbara Lyons, WRTL’s Executive Director in an interview with about the “Pass it on” videos. “These stories are so real, so personal, and so incredible,” said Lyons. “And I just think they give real value to our cause, because it puts a more personal touch to it.”

Lyons said the idea came from a friend in the advertising field, who suggested generating “a series of positive messages” to be passed on, hopefully creating a viral effect.

“One of the things we do with the ‘Pass it On’ campaign is to tell people, ‘send us something,’ and that is what happened,” Lyons said.

The story of Bryce Daniel, she said, showed how doctors recommending abortion puts a great deal of pressure on the parents, who are sometimes convinced it would be cruel to deliver a baby who would die shortly after birth.

“It makes their pregnancy, their thought process so much more complicated, when you have a ‘professional’ telling you: ‘you should just abort this child, it’s better for you, it’s better for him/her.'” said Lyons. “The courage it takes for people to ignore that advice, I think is so inspiring.”

Lyons said the campaign is meant to complement the “heavy” messages the pro-life movement often sends to expose the grave evil of abortion. “It’s very uplifting, and it’s a real morale booster for our own people,” she said.

One video features television star and former wrestler Mr T., distinctive for his Mohawk hairstyle, telling kids to “treat your mother right.”

“If it weren’t for your mother, you wouldn’t be here,” the wrestler says. “When you put down one mother, you put down mothers all over the world.”

The site also features a video of clips from Hollywood movies praising fatherhood, such as Rocky Balboa, Star Wars, and Finding Nemo, among others. It ends with the message: “Fatherhood begins when a child is conceived, and lasts forever.”

To see WRTL’s “Pass this on” campaign, visit: